The Victorian Government’s 2019-20 Budget is a win for Victorians and visitors alike and includes significant investments across the State’s tourism and transport sectors both in Melbourne and across regional Victoria.
“There is consistent level of funding this year for critical destination marketing agency Visit Victoria which improves on levels seen in recent years. However, disappointingly there was no long-term sustainable funding package over a longer period of four years, TTF CEO Margy Osmond said today.
“We welcome the additional tourism funding but reliable, long term funding for destination marketing is critical for Victoria if it is to continue reaping the rewards of a growing visitor economy and the associated levels of employment and growth,” Margy Osmond said.
TTF research report Supercharging Australia’s Future found that for every additional 1000 visitors to Victoria, the tourism industry could be expected, on average, to generate 2.9 tourism related jobs, over $397,000 in tourism consumption, $296,000 in GSP contributions and $34,000 in tax contributions.
Victoria is also committing heavily to fund its creative industries, with over $225 million across a range of investments including new events like Victoria Live – a 10-day winter music festival – funding towards the completion of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, as well as a continuation of the summer program at the National Gallery of Victoria. Other organisations that will benefit include the State Library, Museum Victoria and the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI).
There are also critical investments in nature-based tourism with over $107 million for new campgrounds, upgraded facilities and walking tracks, and the halving of the remaining camping fees across state and national parks.
The centrepiece of the new transport spending is a massive $27.4 billion suburban transport package which includes upgrades, duplication of various rail lines and new and upgraded trams.
“It is fantastic to see this significant commitment to transport, which is an investment for both Victorians and those that visit this major tourism State. Only if a destination is easy to get around in for locals, will it be an increasingly attractive destination for tourists.
“Upgrading rail signalling and power systems isn’t necessarily a particularly sexy transport announcement,” Ms Osmond said.
“However, what is definitely sexy is the that these sorts of investments in areas like the Sunbury Line, will enable the rollout of the new High Capacity Metro Trains through the Metro Tunnel by 2025, which will allow an additional 113,000 passengers in peak times.
“This is in addition to funding to continue planning the Suburban Rail Loop, funding for 18 new modified V/Line VLocity regional trains, new train stations and new funding for a regional Western Rail Plan as well as continued support for progression of the federally funded business case for the game changing Melbourne Airport Rail Link.”
“With respect to urban placemaking, the Budget includes a $154 million commitment to a suburban parks program that will create 6500 hectares or the equivalent of more than 170 Royal Botanic Gardens of new parklands across wider Melbourne.
“This is a budget focused on delivering for a strong future in the tourism and transport spaces and the Government should be congratulated,” Ms Osmond said.